Tag Archive | "brian"

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Hey John: You can’t be 4-4 and seriously talk playoffs

Posted on 09 November 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Just judging from the sheer volume of social media I consumed all day yesterday, the fan base here is in “quit on the 2009 season” mode. The lofty expectations following a rookie campaign for John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco that ended in the AFC Championship Game led all of us in the Charm City to feel as though this year would somehow be better.

Well, we’re halfway through the race and things haven’t gone according to the best laid plan.

The Ravens have lost four of their last five, including yesterday’s turd in Cincinnati. The team, overall, just hasn’t been as good as advertised in many ways. The Bengals have now embarrassed the Ravens twice in four weeks en route to sole possession of the AFC North lead and have earned the right to crow.

While yesterday’s loss certainly felt like more of a beatdown than the final score — and we’ll get to Steve Hauschka’s missed kick in a minute — the NFL only counts one thing en route to a playoff berth in the tournament: wins. And right now, at 4-4, this isn’t going to get it done.

I could make excuses for all of the other three losses — and losing in the waning seconds on the road to New England and Minnesota doesn’t make you a bad team. But the pair of losses to the Bengals has been illuminating, especially when you consider Marvin Lewis’ recipe for building a team with a 6-2 start.

The Bengals have just about everything you’d want — a world-class quarterback with a world-class wide receiver and a running back who runs like Jamal Lewis with a line that’s got a nasty streak. On defense, they’ve built through a young linebacking corps (sound familiar?) and a pair of first-round cornerbacks who allow the safeties and linebackers to play hardball with the pass rush. Oh, yeah — they also arguably have the best kicker in the sport.

The Ravens, as was in full display yesterday, are sorely lacking in various departments but especially the ability to get off the field consistently on 3rd down on defense. It’s been a defensive franchise for the better part of 11 seasons. All good things must end and the 2009 defense is not up to “Play Like a Raven” standards.

Is that Greg Mattsion’s fault? Is that because of the clear falloff at the cornerback position? Is it not having Rex Ryan? Is Bart Scott missed that much? Is Ed Reed OK? Will Haloti Ngata be injured all year?

The entire secondary was beaten in coverage during the first half and the penalties were dreadful. All over the field. Ray Lewis is still the Ravens best player when Ngata is not dressed and that speaks volumes.

The first three losses were “excused” in my opinion. Yesterday, however, did a lot to expose the Ravens as a team that’s pretty good but not a serious playoff contender, especially not with that secondary and lack of pass rush.

Sure, Haloti Ngata’s absence needs to be factored into the equation in the Bengals debacle, but the Ravens have sufficient depth at that position and I’m not sure Ngata would’ve been a difference maker in the outcome yesterday in Cincinnati.

As for the offense, Joe Flacco just was not good enough yesterday, nor was the offensive line, which played its worst game of the season. Penalties? All over the place and ill-timed. Productivity? How about making their first third-down conversion in the fourth quarter? That’s just putrid, unacceptable and not worthy of the NFL playoffs.

They didn’t run well. They didn’t pass well. They were out of sync all day and Flacco looked bewildered during his short stints in the first half. Flacco has now dropped five straight to teams led by Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer.

Derrick Mason and Ray Lewis declined to comment after the game yesterday but I’m sure they’ll have something to say on Wednesday at The Castle.

Harbaugh did his usual tap dance around any tough questions from the media — (memo to John: denying that the team doesn’t tackle well is laughable at this point) — but it’s easy to do what you want when you’re in the AFC Championship Game and things are going better than advertised.

But when the team is a disappointing 4-4 at the turn and the one decision that’s truly pinned to Harbaugh’s special teams badge of expertise — the banishment of kicker Matt Stover in the offseason — costing the team team parts of two of the losses, the questions are only going to get tougher around the head coach and around Steve Hauschka.

This team was supposed to go to the playoffs. This team was supposed to be a Super Bowl contender. The “upgrades” of the offseason were well-calculated and the draft went well. The Ravens and the fanbase were not prepared to be swept by the Bengals and be 4-4 at the turn.

All eyes will now turn to Cleveland, where the Ravens most certainly will awaken eight days from now at 5-4. Right? We can only hope…

The Ravens have amassed four losses and haven’t yet seen the Steelers, the Colts or a frigid December night at Lambeau Field and a West Coast trip to the zoo in Oakland in early 2010. There’s a lot of football left to be played.

The Ravens will sort this out on the field. They need to go 6-2 to have a chance. They need to go 7-1 to be assured of a spot.

If they do it, they’ll be good enough. If they lose two more times to the Steelers, they’ll be playing golf on Jan. 4th and deservedly so.

And if that happens, John Harbaugh’s gonna have a lotta ‘esplainin’ to do at that postseason press conference while he sits next to Steve Bisciotti and the Steelers and Bengals are still playing football…

Things like:

What really happened in the decision to replace Matt Stover with Steve Hauschka?

What really happened with Chris McAlister and how did we get sold that Domonique Foxworth and Chris Carr are upgrades?

Why all the penalties?

Where is the pass rush?

Where is Willis McGahee?

Where is the urgency on offense when the team is down two scores with three minutes left?

Of course, Harbaugh doesn’t really like the tough questions but they’re coming. It’s a tough job. It’s been a lot of fun, this honeymoon of riches and a great start to his era in Baltimore. Getting to the AFC Championship Game as a rookie head coach indeed buys you a hall pass for a while.

I have a feeling a lot of that ended yesterday, with a sweep to the Bengals and a 4-4 record at the turn.

But, as Brian Billick would no doubt tell him, these Monday mornings aren’t a whole lot of fun when the town gets disappointed and the team plays poorly.

And someone has to answer the questions…

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Billick Chaltktalk 101 at Mother’s was a blast…

Posted on 24 September 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

“When you go into the lion’s den, you don’t tippy toe in, you carry a spear, you go in screaming like a banshee, you kick whatever doors in, and say, ‘Where’s the son of a bitch?!’ If you go in any other way, you’re gonna lose.”

A guy wearing this on the back of his shirt sauntered onto the second floor of Mother’s Grille last night for our Billick Chalktalk 101 series with cold Coors Light.

Instead of just writing about, via the power of the internet, we can take you live to Mother’s…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IHpU_vDth8[/youtube]

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So, just how irrelevant are the Orioles?

Posted on 02 September 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Let’s start with these simple facts: the last three days have been the best weather days of this or any other century and Oriole Park at Camden Yards has been pretty much devoid of any signs of life from Baltimore fans. There have been roughly 10,000 Orioles fans at the ballpark each night while the team is en route to probably getting swept tonight by the New York Yankees.

The evil empire. The doers of bad deeds, like paying the best players on the planet the most money to come and continue a winning tradition. They’re easy to hate but it’s mandatory that you respect the New York Yankees.

They play to win. For the most part, they exclude class. And you get your money’s worth.

And you know how much tickets have been for these games?

Yeah, eight bucks. So for just $8 anyone in a four-state area could come and watch the Orioles play under the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.

So, clearly, people aren’t as turned on by Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Brian Matusz, etc. as the ownership hoped we’d all be.

To my way of thinking, after 12 consecutive years of putrid, rancid baseball you’d think any signs of life and youthful exuberance would at least put a spark under people to support this seemingly nice young group of men who wear “BALTIMORE” on their road jerseys, except on Friday nights.

So it’s bad enough that no one really cares about the Orioles. Once again, for the 12th cruel summer in a row, we’ve been subjected to making the Orioles irrelevant in the sports landscape.

But what’s worse? It just occurred to me while seeing the sea of empty seats and hearing these MASN commercials continue to make me want t puke that not that many Baltimoreans have any interest in seeing the best baseball players in the world play for $8, either.

You would think between Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, local frenemy Mark Teixeira and C.C. Sabathia and Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettite, some folks here would love the sport of baseball to come and see several sure-fire Hall of Famers play.

And, like on Opening Day, the ballpark had the potential to be overrun with Orioles fans but it’s not.

They’ve had 25,000 available empty seats the past three nights that the Orioles can’t seem to get their own fans to occupy for as little as eight bucks. And if people don’t want to see the Yankees play for $8 and they don’t want to see this group of “exciting young group of future Hall of Famers” what do they have left to sell?

Pretty sad.

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Orioles continue to sink even lower than we thought possible

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

As the biggest critic of Orioles ownership over the last decade, I’ve purposely refrained from being particularly hard on the team in 2009. Unfortunately for you, the WNST fans and true Baltimore sports lovers, they have me right where they want me. I’m back on the radio without a press pass to their games and no one is going to tune into my show if all I do is tell the truth, and bury them for their ineptitude, mean-spiritedness and general incompetence over the past dozen years for four hours every day.

And at this point, what do I have to lose? Short of them killing me, what do they have left to take away from me?

The team is awful (again), there is not an iota of pride remaining in being an Orioles fan and I’ve watched about 90% of the action this season and I’m here to tell you that it has NOT been a fun or memorable summer for baseball here in the land of pleasant living.

And really, telling the truth — see the paragraph above — is NOT what Baltimore wants to hear from me about the Orioles. It’s like a broken, freaking record — me bitching about the Orioles.

And, here in the summer of 2009, the truth hurts and this blog hurts!

At their current pace, the Orioles “defining moment” of 2009 might be their 100th loss sometime around October 1st and that would certainly speak volumes for where the organization stands in the MLB cosmos.

As every sports fan in Baltimore has uttered at some point since the turn of the century: “Thank God for the Ravens!” And anytime we even think about talking Orioles baseball at WNST, someone will send a nasty note over stating this: “Just forget about the Orioles and talk about the Ravens.”

Well, as I said three years ago during the Free The Birds campaign, I will not be letting Peter Angelos or any of his servants off the hook for this decade-and-a-half civic tragedy — the worst stretch of bizarre local ownership and strategy since Bob Irsay pilfered the Colts off in the middle of the night back in March 1984.

No, we’re not done with the Orioles. As Drew Forrester has said many times: “We’ll either kill them or fix them. It’s their choice.”

But this current dismal summer of dreadful baseball — in a season when “miracle-man” Andy MacPhail has talked about promise for young players — still has six weeks left on the schedule and there are no creampuffs left on the docket and there is no end to the bleeding in sight.

You can piss on me in the comments below all you want, but this current team they’re fielding might be the worst of them all on some nights because we all want to buy into some hope and promise for a better team in the future.

Here is your stat of the day: the Orioles were 40-48 at the All Star break, which is hardly acceptable or decent, although MASN’s lame coverage and “state run” media would tell you this was a team “on the rise.”

Now, the Orioles are 48-72, which means they’ve managed to go 8-24 since Adam Jones doffed the cap in St. Louis.

Folks, that’s .250 baseball and 32 games is about 20% of the season by my math. Of course, when you’ve already put up a legendary 4-32 a few years ago — and for now, we’ll just let the 1988 team off the hook because that had nothing to do with Peter Angelos or 2009 — somehow 8-24 doesn’t sound like it sucks so bad.

But it sucks. And this team sucks. And this ownership still sucks. And the broadcasts still suck. And MASN still sucks. And — once again — it’s another set of broken promises, lies and “come ons” about progress, youth, getting better and competing in the AL East.

And this was supposed to be the time of the season when the team starts to exhibit some signs of hope for the future and some momentum going into 2010?

What stat do you want me to throw at you? They’re 4-14 this month. They haven’t won in a week. They can’t score runs with the bases loaded and nobody out.

They’ve dealt away three veterans and gave Aubrey Huff away for nothing. Every night the team is behind it seems.

And I’m not really sure that any of these young players know how to win or are surrounded by any positive role models who’ve won. Gregg Zaun was the only guy with a ring and they gave him away, too.

Here’s where the orange Kool-Aid drinkers will say: What about Adam Jones? And Nolan Reimold? And the promise of Matt Wieters? Blah, blah, blah…I hope they all step up in 2010 or beyond and make me eat my words. But for now, we report the truth.

And here’s the truth:

The ownership group of this franchise has lied to the city for years about just about everything.

“We’re close” or “we’ll win next year” or “we have some exciting young players” all sounds like incoherent babble at this point. MacPhail has bragged about all of the pitching in the system with the likes of Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen and Jake Arrieta coming to “The Show” and making the Orioles competitive in the elite AL East division.

I’ve now seen them all. They all have some nice strengths but some glaring weaknesses. None of them have the hype of a Ben McDonald and if they’re all as good as he was the Orioles might sniff .500 at their zenith of this era. Pitching is never a sure thing in the majors. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that.

Ok, so now what happens? This offseason won’t be much different from any in the past. How can this team possibly get better or find talent outside the organization during the winter to compete in the AL East?

When does this team finally turn the corner and even feign some competitiveness that will lead them somewhere near a .500 record in the future?

When will the team be able to attract any top free agents to come to Baltimore and help the team compete with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox?

Where’s that “veteran, straw who will stir the drink” that the Orioles will bring in to show some leadership?

Once they fire Dave Trembley, who will be the “next victim up” to try to get the Orioles out of the cellar?

When will the team stop banning free speech and allow the legitimate media back into the stadium to ask questions?

When will they stop running these stupid, mind-numbingly phony commercials on MASN that make the games all but unwatchable on top of a team that has been wretched over the past month?

When will residents of Boston and New York stop filling our city and our ballpark with out-of-town fans who boo and jeer young Orioles players from the moment they arrive?

It’s just a dreadful, dreadful product right now — the entire package of Orioles baseball. Going into September, I can’t remember a season worse than this because the promise of these young players from lips of MacPhail and the baseball “establishment” back in the spring was palpable.

We were supposed to feel better about the team at the end of the summer, not worse…

From going to the games to watching the games on TV to following the progress of the team even through the box scores and the standings every day — this really isn’t any fun.

It’s not fun to watch. It’s not fun to talk about. It’s not fun to listen to me on the radio talking about it.

Honestly, to any thinking person this is about the worst summer yet in a dozen horror shows since 1997.

But you don’t really want to hear that from me, do you?

They promised hope. They promised progress. They promised excitement.

They’re dangerously en route to playing the last two weeks of the season and not trying to hit triple digits in the loss column.

They made promises not only to you and me but also to Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis, who were the latest to sign multi-year contracts here under the guise that the team would show progress and get competitive.

Of course, Jim Hunter will tell you every night that 8-24 is progress.

Obviously, from where we sit today, it just looks like the latest batch of lies from Angelos and his henchmen.

Orioles Baseball 2009 — Feel The Tragic!

Ooops. That’s right. I’m not supposed to criticize the home team, am I?

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Young Matusz shoved around by the Angels, lose 5-1

Posted on 15 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Brian Matusz’s night was long and unproductive. In his home debut, he labored through 5 2/3 innings, giving up a whopping 11 hits,  five runs (four earned) and walked three, while striking out seven. He threw 98 pitches and leaves the game with the Orioles trailing 5-1 and two inherited runners.

The game story is here.

The box score is here.

It’s hot. The stadium is kinda lonely for a Saturday night. And the Orioles big night last night with Felix Pie seems a distant memory.

You’ve gotta enjoy the rare wins when you get them.

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Hail Cesar: Matusz impressive in debut win over Tigers

Posted on 04 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

9:57 p.m. –The Orioles got a huge rookie debut from Brian Matusz tonight. Cesar Izturis flashed leather and even hit a home run as the Birds defeated the Detroit Tigers 8-2 at Comerica Park.

Matusz on his comfort and happiness after the win: “I’d like to enjoy it a little longer. I was a little nervous out there. I can go out there for my next start and be a little more comfortable.”

On his family: “It’s awesome to have that support, My family and friends have been supportive. It’s awesome. I could hear them all after my first pitch.”

On his effort tonight: “It’s important to really attack the zone. I had a couple of walks today. I fell behind in the count. To not nibble so much on the corner and go after the guys. The strike zone is a little smaller. Relax. Have fun. It’s the same game. Enjoy it and hopefully I can carry it over.”

On Izturis: “Izzy was awesome. He made some great plays. Got me out of a jam. It was a lot of fun.”

9:07 p.m. — The Orioles are, for once, piling on a first-place team. It’s 8-1 and even Melvin Mora has taken out some of his frustration with an RBI single. Matusz was sensational, if not a bit brief. The bullpen has made quick work. It looks like they’re gonna win.

What more can you ask for? Oh yeah — a great photo op of Matusz have a post-effort chat in the dugout with Chris Tillman and David Hernandez. Gary Thorne says they’ve been inseparable.

Hopefully, Tillman and Matusz are as effective as Hernandez and Brad Bergesen have been. Then, perhaps, 2010 will be a far more interesting campaign.

8:37 p.m. — Like a good book or a good movie, tonight Brian Matusz left us wanting more. Like Led Zeppelin. LOL! He’s done for the night. His line: 5IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 3W, 5K…his ERA is 1.80, 99 pitches and is winning pitcher of record.

I can’t argue, although he looked like he was just getting going. But he finishes in double-digit pitches and leaves feeling really, really good about his debut. We ALL feel good about his debut.

Could’ve been better and more dominant. But he certainly didn’t give in when he was in a jam. He was impressive!

Nick Markakis just piled on with a two-run homer. It’s 5-1 Birds. Matusz is in line for a W…

8:34 p.m. — You can’t the kid hasn’t been gritty. He’s had some Tigers tee off on him. He’s gotten some nice defense. He’s battled out of some jams. He’s got moxie! The Birds are still up 3-1

8:28 p.m. — Hard to believe Mike Mussina’s debut was 18 years ago tonight. Just incredible how old I am.

8:23 p.m. — All hail Cesar Izturis. He’s having a career night. Two amazing defensive plays. And now, the unlikely home run.

God, these MASN commercials are painful! I haven’t live blogged in a few weeks and it seems that every time I do it’s unavoidable to not point out how bad the broadcasts are. How “homerish” it’s gotten. And how defensive the announcers are in regard to criticism of a last-place team on a 4-13 run after the All Star break.

I’m not looking for “funereal” — but how about just having some balance and integrity for what truly is: A LAST PLACE team. As Peter Schmuck might say: “Don’t pee orange on my cap and tell me it’s raining.”

Matusz has fought nicely. He finally gave up a run in the fourth. They’re playing hasty baseball at Comerica Park tonight.

The Birds are up 3-1. All Hail Cesar!

8:05 p.m. — It’s an exciting night to be an Orioles fan. The future isn’t just “coming” any more. From all indications, it’s here.

Matusz went 1-2-3 in the first. He struggled and battled in the the second inning and got an amazing play from Cesar Izturis, who followed it up with another web gem in the third.

We’re hanging on every pitch. We’re impressed by that slingshot lefthanded delivery. And we’re hearing Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez salivate with each pitch. Martinez seems particularly zoned in on pitch selection, which is good for a former big league manager and catcher. (And this makes it all the more embarrassing when he protects the organization and makes excuses for their last place standing in the AL East. He’s a great baseball man, even if he is from out of town. He doesn’t need to be a shill.)

Well, Matusz is through three innings. The Orioles have staked him out to a a 2-0 lead on a nice offensive output in the first inning with a big hit from Matt Wieters.

Matusz has rosy red cheeks. (Like I said, a lot of weird observations when you’re seeing the kid for the first time.)

I love baseball when it feels like it matters. Tonight, somehow like Wieters debut against Detroit in May, feels like an “ascension” for the organization. For the first time in a long, frustrating summer, we get the “final piece” added to the big league roster.

I’ll be checking in to write and approve posts all night…

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As Trembley rolls under the losing orange bus, I’ll defend him…

Posted on 02 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Watching the post-game press conference with Dave Trembley today has been illuminating. The Orioles are really reeling. The pitchers gave up 23 hits today. They used six pitchers who gave up a collective 18 runs. Their No. 1 starter in the on the disabled list. Next up, they’re apparently bringing in their No. 1 prospect in the organization, Brian Matusz, for Tuesday night and the manager is taking massive heat.

Today they were beaten 18-10 and swept while nearly 100,000 Red Sox fans rolled into Camden Yards this weekend and booed his young players while they floundered.

Before the game, his all-but-washed up veteran and emotional third basemen rolled him under the bus in a pre-game tirade that will go down as legendary.

Melvin Mora went on and on about “respect.” It was about as bad of a thing as you could possibly do to a manager in the middle of a bad stretch.

But I can’t blame this mess on Dave Trembley at this point.

As a matter of fact, since I’ve called for some clarity on his situation a few weeks ago I’ve honestly been tremendously impressed with how he’s conducted himself publicly amidst the losing.

I almost feel sorry for him. But for some reason, he’s not as testy in his post-game press conferences and I’m actually learning a lot as a fan. He’s been honest, decent and even-keeled during this stretch showing patience and concern and sharing real information and real management skills publicly.

You learn a lot more about teams and players and people when teams lose. Everyone’s a helluva winner.

Right now, Trembley’s team is losing and he’s taking the heat with dignity and respect for the media and the fans.

He’s explaining things and doing it honestly. That’s all I can ask for.

Melvin Mora says he deserves more respect. In my opinion, Dave Trembley and the Orioles fans deserve more production.

Here are some of Dave Trembley’s post-game quotes from today:

“I’m just glad our guys didn’t quit. I’m real pleased about that. We didn’t pitch well. To say we didn’t pitch well is an understatement. It wasn’t our day. Had some great at bats. Ran the bases well. They hit the cover off it.

“We’ll get it figured out. I had to extend some guys today. Hendrickson threw 30 pitches last night, gets extended today.”

On Jason Berken: “It’s been hard on him. I’m sure it’s been real difficult situation for him. He’s stuck and we’ve gotta do something to get him out. He’s in neutral and we’ve got to help him.”

On today’s strike zone and the umpires: “I’ve been suspended and paid an awful lot of money. I’m not going to comment on that.”

Zaun: “Who wants to lose your catcher in the 3rd inning of a game? It was a quick trigger.”

On the losing and the poor play: “It’s a lot tougher for them than it is for me. They’re doing the best they can. They didn’t get it done. I’m sure they feel absolutely terrible.”

On Mora and whether they’ve reached an understanding: “I don’t know. I don’t talk through the press. Here’s where I’m coming from: You show up to the ballpark and expect to play. And you do the very best you can all the time. And if you don’t play, you stay prepared to play. It’s about the team and it’s never about one guy.

And all of you people are very sharp and know how we do things. I’m not going to talk through the newspaper or the TV.”

“You pull for your guys. You want them to do well.

“We’ve got a bunch of young guys here. Don’t let the performance and the bad numbers make you think that you don’t belong here or that you shouldn’t be here or you should take a step back. Learn from it and prepare to pitch in four or five days.

“They know what their stats are. They know their performance. They know it better than you and me. And they’re reminded of it constantly. We’ve got to do something to help Berken and try to do something in the best interest of the team.

“You do what’s in the best interest of that person and the team.”

ON THE ENTIRE MORA SITUATION, PRIOR TO THE GAME

“I’m disappointed that he feels that way,” Trembley said.

“Melvin’s been a very good player for a long time. We don’t show disrespect toward anybody.

“I don’t look at things from that side. I don’t look at things from the negative or bad side. I try to do what’s best for the team. I try to do what’s best for each individual, but for the team, as well.

“It’s too bad that people’s feelings are hurt or feel disrespected and all that. That has never been my intent. I’m going to do the best I can for the team. I’ve never taken that stance to be personal toward anybody, and I think everybody understands that.

“I’m trying to help people. I’m not trying to hurt anybody. If I give a guy a day off, guys who are up there in age, they’ve played a long time, guys who are struggling, I’m trying to help them. I’m not looking to hurt them.”

TODAY’S BOX SCORE

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Orioles update: They’re still in last place

Posted on 06 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

While we were all busy following the tragic death of Steve McNair over the weekend the Orioles were still busy losing and playing bad baseball. It seems like the franchise goes further into the witness protection program when they play on the West Coast but all of the mistakes and lousy pitching hasn’t been lost on me.

I actually watched all of the late-night garbage over the Fourth of July weekend.

Where to begin?

Well, they’re still in last place at 36-46. They managed to cross the official “midseason” point in the cellar. They still manage to regularly find ways to blow big-early game leads. And, thankfully for me, Jim Palmer is still employed by MASN so I can actually have a few chuckles with my unending yield of losses after midnight.

Palmer continually called it “bad baseball” and reinforced his opinions with many facts, observations and criticisms that would qualify as comedy after midnight if it weren’t so sad. I think he’s almost bored with it and was more interested in making funny faces with Gary Thorne than watching the Orioles blow one more game after a decent starting effort.

I could itemize the entire weekend and point specific fingers but I’ll limit my abuse to simply discussing the Nick Markakis-Brian Roberts fiasco in right field on Saturday night and wonder how the team’s two best players – Adam Jones’ All-Star berth not withstanding – could watch a game-changing routine, can-of-corn pop up land at their feet late in the game.

Of course, after giving up six more runs in the ensuing innings, this boneheaded play seems irrelevant but it was the greatest source of my personal frustration over the weekend.

The Orioles lost three of four in Anaheim. They’re now headed to Seattle before coming home to play Toronto here this weekend. Something tells me there will be a giveaway or a special “2110” promotion.

All I want is some quality baseball and some decent pitching.

Another All-Star Break looms at week’s end and the Orioles are once again in last place.

Some things never change…

I’ll be back on the air at 2 p.m. to discuss all of the baseball you didn’t watch over the weekend because you had better things to do than watch this lousy team lose again after midnight.

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Orioles get Philthy in Philly, complete sweep with 2-1 win

Posted on 21 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The Orioles are still in last place but completed an inspired weekend of road baseball, finishing a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love.

Today, it was Jeremy Guthrie’s turn to step up with a big outing and Adam Jones and Brian Roberts driving in the key late-inning runs to beat the Phils 2-1 after a huge comeback on Saturday night on the heels of a great start by Brad Bergesen. Roberts has been the difference maker the past two days, stepping up as a veteran leader for a team trying to dig out of the AL East basement.

The Orioles have now won five in a row and take their final Interleague turn of the season south to South Beach and a three-game set meeting with the Marlins on Tuesday night.

Complete coverage at WNST.net here...

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A funny, memorable night in Philadelphia…

Posted on 21 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

I’m just getting my sea legs under me on a Sunday afternoon from a long night of rain, baseball, cheese steaks, hideous Philadelphia sports fans and Miller Lite drinking with the Orioles and 50 awesome orange Kool Aid drinkers at Citizen’s Bank Park. We had a blast!

(And that was before the fireworks from Gregg Zaun and Brian Roberts…)

The video is just about done and I’ll get it up onto wnsTV so you can check out all of the mayhem. It was a funny, funny evening with lots of laughs, twists and turns and an a memorable outcome for the Birds.

I had at least 500 Philadelphians “remind” me that they’re the World Champions, many on video. It was as much fun as I’ve had at a ballgame in a long time.

The video will tell some of the story…

Is that an orange broom in a red ballpark or are you just happy to see me?

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